Forum seen as platform to drive state tourism industry


Ik Pahon

KUCHING: The Sarawak Tourism Forum 2015 is an important platform to build closer rapport between government agencies and the private sector in driving the state tourism industry.

Permanent secretary to the Ministry of Tourism Datu Ik Pahon Joyik divulged that about 10 priority areas had been identified during the forum as well as proposals for a tourism ‘one stop online shop’.

“We have identified 10 priority areas to move tourism in the state such as branding and imaging, promotion, improvement of events as well as upgrading of the facilities in national parks but the most important in my opinion is the idea of having a one stop online shop where you can just go to the website and shop for a tourism product.

“For this, we will need an administration and input so maybe we will put it up at the Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) or Sarawak Tourism Federation (STF) website. This is a new idea so we want to use the latest techniques such as the social media as everyone is selling on social media nowadays or we will be left behind,” Ik Pahon told a press conference after the Sarawak Tourism Forum 2015 yesterday. About 250 people attended the forum.

Meanwhile, Ik Pahon also said that nominations and submissions for the Sarawak Hornbill Tourism Award 2013/2014 were now open until July.

“We will see the response, and if there aren’t enough submissions, then we will extend the closing date for another month, and have the panel discussion in September and, maybe, towards the end of the year we will hold a gala dinner,” he said.

He added that this was the sixth time that the bi-annual event was held and that submissions would be evaluated for the years 2013 and 2014.

“We are collaborating with STF and their involvement is important as tourism is always a private sector driven. We want the private sector to be a part of this,” Ik Pahon said.

The categories for submission are Outstanding Hotel and Accommodations Provider, Outstanding Destination Management Company, Outstanding Tourist Guides, Outstanding Food Outlets, Outstanding Transport Contribution to the Tourism Industry, Outstanding Media Contribution to the Tourism Industry, Outstanding Cottage Industry Contribution to the Tourism Industry and Outstanding Tourism Attraction and Events.

Each category is split into sub-categories and the winners will take home a trophy, certificate, cash incentive of RM5,000 and M&P incentives of RM3,000.

Further details can be obtained at